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Houses & cusps For discussions on houses and house cusps (i.e. planets on angles, house stelliums and so on)


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  #1  
Unread 12-09-2020, 02:22 AM
AppLeo AppLeo is offline
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What house system do you use and why?

After talking to Dirius in the past, he mentioned that he uses the whole sign house system. Liking his perspective on things in general, I decided to give it a real chance in my own chart.

From my own analysis, I find it to be much more accurate. As one example, I used to think that my Sun always belonged in the 7th house, but in the whole sign house system it falls in the 8th house. The 8th house has a lot to do with psychology, occult, and hiding yourself away, and that sounds so much more right for me. The Mars and Venus in the whole sign house system, I've been mistakenly associating that with my 7th house placidus Sun.

I also like the whole sign house system because the house rulers or lords will always rule over a house, and you don't have to deal with the nonsense of interceptions.

Overall, I think houses can be overcomplicated. When in doubt, sometimes I think it's best to just reduce things to the quadrants.

Planets in quadrant one (1st, 2nd, 3rd house) have a lot to do with a person's identity.
Planets in quadrant two (4th, 5th, 6th) have a lot to do with expression
Planets in quadrant three (7th, 8th 9th) have to do with relating to others
Planets in quadrant four (10th, 11th 12th) have to do with the public

Thoughts?

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Unread 12-09-2020, 03:02 AM
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Lightbulb Re: What house system do you use and why?

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you don't have to deal with the nonsense of interceptions. Overall, I think houses can be overcomplicated. When in doubt, sometimes I think it's best to just reduce things to the quadrants.
There are many schools of astrology, and therefore many thoughts about house systems. For example, Equal house systems not having intercepted signs or houses some might consider to be a good or bad thing. Whole houses takes it a step further, and avoids even having sign boundaries within houses (which one might also consider a good or bad thing).

Equal systems look nice with all houses covering 30 degrees, however there are multiple ways of doing it. Standard Equal houses starts with the Ascendant (however it disassociates the MC from the 10th cusp, which some really dislike). Midheaven based Equal houses starts with the Midheaven (however it disassociates the Asc from the 1st cusp). Whole houses disassociates both, in order to never have sign boundaries in the middle of houses. Some like Whole signs because it has history, however there are alternative approaches to it too, such as as Midheaven based Whole houses which starts with the 10th house being the sign that contains the MC, instead of the 1st house being the sign that contains the Asc.

Quadrant systems are popular because they always have 1st cusp=Asc and 10th cusp=MC, however that results in unequal sized houses (at least when displayed in a 2D wheel chart). Placidus (and Koch which is similar) are limited because they're not easily defined above the Arctic circle, which requires using another system for those locations. However, Campanus, Porphyry, and others are quadrant systems that do work everywhere.

But to answer the question: I use Campanus! Campanus is nice because it's the one system which is both a quadrant system and an Equal system! It effectively bridges the differences between quadrant systems like Placidus, and Equal systems like Whole, and takes the best of both worlds. Campanus always has 1st=Asc and 10th=MC like quadrant systems, however it's also an Equal system in which each house covers exactly 30 degrees (if you look at its 3D model). Campanus is defined as 12 equal sized wedges covering the local horizon, which makes sense since houses are inherently related to the local horizon. It's only the 2D cross section as displayed in a classic wheel in which Campanus houses appear to be irregularly sized.

In summary, Campanus houses (in its 3D model) is the only system in which all three of the following are true:
  • All 12 houses are equal sized and cover the same amount of the celestial sphere.
  • A planet above the horizon will always be in houses 7-12, and a planet below the horizon will always be in houses 1-6.
  • A planet east of the meridian will always be in houses 1-3 or 10-12, and a planet west of the meridian will always be in houses 4-9.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 03:20 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

Normally I use Placidus for natal chart interpretations. But if I read a chart posted on the forum in some other house system, that's fine. I think planets in intercepted signs have real interpretive value.

Regiomontanus is the standard for horary astrology.

I appreciate the simplicity of whole signs. I think it's especially appropriate where the accuracy of the birth time is in question. But if the person has a late degree rising (as I have) whole signs will dramatically change the houses from Placidus.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 03:53 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

The late sign degree is really interesting. It makes you wonder if the signs and houses should blend.

If someone is at zero degrees Leo, are they really a Leo, or a Cancer? Or are they both?

Same with the houses.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 04:48 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

I began using Placidus as many others have, but I changed to Koch when I heard that Rob Hand used Koch. I used Koch for a number of years, but then I went back to Placidus. I don't have strong evidence for either case.

I was very excited and very intrigued when I learned that Rob Hand (in his role as a historian) discovered that the first House system was Whole Sign Houses. The first thing I did was test Whole Sign Houses relative to Placidus. I admit that my testing was very limited, and I did not intend to test extensively at that time, and I have not continued my tests.

In the tests I did, I liked Placidus better. Added to that is the fact that in my practice it is hugely obvious that the Ascendant and Midheaven points are very critical to interpretation, and it stands to reason that they correspond to the Cusp of the First and Tenth Houses respectively.

From memory I recall testing on the Johannes Kepler's chart. By Placidus and most quandrant systems, Kepler has Moon the the Twelfth, but in Whole Signs Moon is in the First.

Kepler's mother was psychic, and in the 16th century, she was frequently accused of witchcraft. He spent considerable time, money, and effort to travel to locations where his mother was incarcerated in order to get her freed. Moon in 12th is much more fitting to me than Moon in First.

I admit that is a very limited example, and I plan to do some more such research one day.

Last edited by Cary2; 12-09-2020 at 04:57 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 06:12 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

Thanks Cary for your perspective

I've seen general astrology flirting with Koch method, but it remains pretty unpopular

That is interesting with Kepler and the Moon. Looking up his chart, he has a late ascendant degree at 24 degrees while his Moon is about 5 degrees in.

Do think that late ASC people may find the houses to not always be accurate?
Or perhaps Vedic Astrology has been right all along.

The whole sign house system in Vedic astrology would maintain his first house with Gemini, but the Moon would've been moved to Taurus in the 12th house.

Last edited by AppLeo; 12-09-2020 at 06:14 PM.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 06:21 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

I'm not very knowledgeable about Vedic, and my experience with the traditional Equal House System of the West does not impress me. I'm a fan of Robert Pellitier, but I never warmed to his Equal House System. Every astrologer seems to have one characteristic among many that is inconceivable to me causing me to scratch my head. I think Charles Carter did more than any other astrologer to test the various house systems.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 06:39 PM
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Lightbulb Re: What house system do you use and why?

[QUOTE=Cary2;1082781]my experience with the traditional Equal House System of the West does not impress me.[QUOTE]

Indeed, the traditional "Equal" system is really "Ascendant based Equal houses", which means it ties the Asc to the 1st cusp, but disassociates the MC from the 10th cusp. There's also the less commonly used "Midheaven based Equal houses" which ties the MC to the 10th cusp, but disassociates the Asc from the 1st cusp. Which of these is more "correct"? I know (most) astrologers give more influence to the Asc over the MC in a chart, but it would be nice if an Equal system could treat all the angles equally. Consider a third option: "Balanced Equal Houses" splits the difference, and always has the difference between the Asc and 1st cusp, equal to the difference between the MC and 10th cusp! All three of these Equal systems are compared in this picture:



Quote:
Every astrologer seems to have one characteristic among many that is inconceivable to me causing me to scratch my head.
Perhaps that's because astrology is inherently a spiritual and personal practice, which means everybody will approach it differently, because everybody is unique.
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Unread 12-09-2020, 07:34 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

I'll get back to you soon Cruiser
I didn't see the post you posted before Waybread
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Unread 12-09-2020, 09:16 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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Originally Posted by AppLeo View Post
Do think that late ASC people may find the houses to not always be accurate?
I know an astrologer who teaches that a sign in a house has shades of that house, even if it has the next house's cusp in it. For example, let's say a chart has the third house cusp in late Pisces, with most of Pisces being in the second house. Her take is that in that case, Pisces has a lot of second house, bleeding into third.

She has a late degree ascendant herself. And late degree house cusps.

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Originally Posted by AppLeo View Post
Or perhaps Vedic Astrology has been right all along.
It's not a case of one system being right and another wrong. In Vedic, some of the sign and house meanings are a bit different from their Western counterparts, and different in a way that allows for approximately the same meaning to be gotten out of both versions of the chart. It's like roughly equivalent words in different languages having a different range of meanings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppLeo View Post
Overall, I think houses can be overcomplicated. When in doubt, sometimes I think it's best to just reduce things to the quadrants.

Planets in quadrant one (1st, 2nd, 3rd house) have a lot to do with a person's identity.
Planets in quadrant two (4th, 5th, 6th) have a lot to do with expression
Planets in quadrant three (7th, 8th 9th) have to do with relating to others
Planets in quadrant four (10th, 11th 12th) have to do with the public

Thoughts?
I actually use this system as a quick overview. Which quadrants are busy? Which are empty? Which, if any, have a singleton planet? That's one of the factors in getting the basic flavor of the chart.

I also read overlapping house meanings a lot. That's my solution to the conundrum of having a planet in one house Placidus (or Porphyry or Koch or whatever quadrant system the chart might be cast in) and another whole sign. Adjacent houses bleed into each other a bit, and there's some overlap in their meanings. I can even do it with three houses at once, if necessary.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 04:10 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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The late sign degree is really interesting. It makes you wonder if the signs and houses should blend.

If someone is at zero degrees Leo, are they really a Leo, or a Cancer? Or are they both?

Same with the houses.
A sign is one thing or the other. Someone with the sun at 29 o 59' of Cancer is still a sun Cancer.

Signs and houses have different meanings. A sign shows how a planet operates. A house shows the area of activity or domain of life in which a planet operates.

There is a trend in modern astrology to conflate planet, sign, and house meanings. I normally wouldn't do this.
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Last edited by waybread; 12-10-2020 at 04:12 AM.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 09:12 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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There are many schools of astrology, and therefore many thoughts about house systems.................
Forgive the deletion of your text, but my question is not about house system calculation itself.

During the summer for a thesis finals exam from a prestigious astro. university, astrologer Paul set up a questionnaire on a number of sites re: preferences and uses by astrologers of the various symbology systems within astrology. He later provided a review of the obtained results.
A multi-question I asked was not answered in the review. Perhaps you can.

I.e. What is the difference in interpretation between using one house system in preference to another, other than a possible change of planet, sign or house? What does the specific system 'say' and 'reveal' that another system doesn't and upon what is its calculation based, other than geometrical?

E.G. WHY is Campanus more reliable than any other? Or; what is it in Equal House, Koch, Porphyry, Placidus, etc. that makes their interpretations per house more reliable? Any interpretation value is made by the person and not the system, per se.

Regiomantus has the reputation for accuracy in horary questions of the moment. Does it do as well with other queries regarding life in general?
Is one system specifically relevant towards electional questions? Or mundane queries? Is a specific system particularly accurate in personal questions but not in those only pertaining to existential psyche, profession, health, spirituality, or (one's place within) worldy matters?

Do you follow what I mean?

There are many books explaining the differences in calculation of house systems, even to one's preference, yet I have never heard of, or read ONE in which the 'sphere' of difference is even theoretically given an inperpretation.

Ever curious in seeking answers.

Last edited by Frisiangal; 12-10-2020 at 09:16 AM.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 09:42 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

Placidus because I have a couple of planets that are in the ninth that describe me and who I an as opposed to them being in other houses that don't.

Last edited by Zeuses; 12-10-2020 at 11:37 PM.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 10:30 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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Placidus because I have a couple of planets that are in the ninth that describe me as opposed to them being in other houses that don't.
This is an important point.

I highly recommend Michael Munkasey's An Astrological House Formulary. He walks the reader through the math and assumptions required to construct the different major house systems.
https://www.scribd.com/doc/6495552/A...ouse-Formulary

Munkasey says in his introduction that the "best" house system is the one that best describes the theme under consideration. If a given question is best described by the moon in the 8th house, then it's no good using a system that places the moon in the 7th or 9th house.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
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This is an important point.

I highly recommend Michael Munkasey's An Astrological House Formulary. He walks the reader through the math and assumptions required to construct the different major house systems.
https://www.scribd.com/doc/6495552/A...ouse-Formulary

Munkasey says in his introduction that the "best" house system is the one that best describes the theme under consideration. If a given question is best described by the moon in the 8th house, then it's no good using a system that places the moon in the 7th or 9th house.
Thankyou for your response and I absolutely agree.

Last edited by Zeuses; 12-10-2020 at 11:35 PM.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 11:02 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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Thankyou for your response and I absolutely agree.

Yes, ditto!



Ref:

Quote:
Munkasey says in his introduction that the "best" house system is the one that best describes the theme under consideration

A great answer. I use as a matter of psychological importance in the natal, the Placidius, but for Vedic and Maraka houses, I use the Whole sign houses.
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Unread 12-10-2020, 11:28 PM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

i like whole sign house system
placidus just suks, no wonder i didn't really take the houses seriously in the past, i was using the wrong system!
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Unread 12-11-2020, 01:26 AM
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Lightbulb Re: What house system do you use and why?

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A sign is one thing or the other. Someone with the sun at 29 o 59' of Cancer is still a sun Cancer.
This is another interesting area where astrologers have different views! Are signs (and houses) distinct with distinct boundaries and sudden changes of energy between them, or do they gradually fade one into another? Some believe planets near a cusp are influenced by both signs or houses to some extent.

The Sun (or at least the center point of the Sun) enters a new sign of the zodiac at a precise moment, which can be computed to the clock second with modern astrology software, so we can always say whether a planet is in one sign or another. Therefore, some don't believe in cusps, and that something is entirely influenced by one sign or the other, and never in between.

However, the Sun isn't a point source, i.e. the disk of the Sun has diameter. The Sun (and Moon) are both about half a degree across. Since the Sun moves roughly a degree per day, that means when the front edge of the Sun crosses into a new sign, the rear edge of the Sun won't also enter that sign until about 12 hours later. In other words, the physical disk of the Sun overlaps sign boundaries for about half a day, and that half a day could be considered a "cusp" period of time, because the Sun is truly overlapping two signs at once.

Even if one believes in strict sign and house boundaries, or even that the Sun should be treated as a point source and is therefore entirely in one sign/house or another, the issue is complicated by the issue of where exactly those boundaries lie. There are many different house systems, and even different zodiacs. There's the tropical versus sidereal zodiac, and in the sidereal zodiac there are many different ayanamsas or places to defines 0Aries, resulting in many different potential boundaries between signs.
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Unread 12-11-2020, 03:07 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

I think sign degrees are precise. House cusps, not so much. But thanks for the info on the sun taking its own sweet time to cross a given degree point. With the outer planets, it would take even longer.

What muddies the water so far as the sun is concerned is that Mercury and Venus are within 30 and 45 degrees of the sun, respective. So someone with the sun in, say, 29 degrees of Cancer could easily have Mercury, Venus, and possibly another planet in Leo, thus giving the person some Leo loading, despite the Cancer sun.

Because there are so many house systems that move the cusps around from one to the other, I'm comfy with giving them more leeway. Some astrologers will consider a planet within 5 degrees of the next house cusp to exert its influence more in the house it approaches.
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Unread 12-11-2020, 03:08 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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Some astrologers will consider a planet within 5 degrees of the next house cusp to exert its influence more in the house it approaches.
You rang?
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Unread 12-11-2020, 03:10 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

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i like whole sign house system
placidus just suks, no wonder i didn't really take the houses seriously in the past, i was using the wrong system!
Professional astrologer (and occasional member on this forum) Alice Portman has done a lot of research on horoscopes and she feels that some people respond best to one house system, other people to another.

This isn't entirely orthodox in "the best house system" debate, but it makes sense to me.
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Unread 12-12-2020, 12:44 AM
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What is the difference in interpretation between using one house system in preference to another, other than a possible change of planet, sign or house?
No difference, usually! Outside of different approaches to astrology (like Vedic vs. Western) houses generally have the exact same interpretation, which means changing the house system doesn't change the interpretation (outside of planets changing house, of course). Anyway, there are two primary reasons why one tends to consider a house system to be "good":

(1) Experience: One may believe a system is good based on what other presumably reliable sources have said, or on their own personal experience. This can be subject to error, for example believing that something is true just because others think it's true. (Consider how the "best minds" believed the world was flat for a long time, and that the Sun orbited the Earth, until it took revolutionary thinkers to suggest otherwise.) Similarly, one may have had interpretation results that seem right for them, but they're based on a small sample size, so others who have worked with a different (also small) set of charts may have been drawn to a different system. Until detailed statistically relevant studies similar to Gauquelin's "Mars Effect" are conducted, it will be hard to ever "prove" that one house system is more correct (assuming that "proving" astrology is even something that should be done).

(2) Logic: One may believe a system is good or sounds right based on a definition or description of the system, or what looks right based on visual placement of the house cusps. For example, consider Sinusoidal Houses for a system that has a simple reasoned definition, and also makes a case for being the "best looking" house system! Logic can be subject to error too, because a system may seem right on paper but not actually work or be useful in practice.
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E.G. WHY is Campanus more reliable than any other?
Every system has its own arguments, of course. For example, Campanus being the "best" system is based on the following logic or beliefs:

(1) Houses are similar to signs, in that they're both 12 divisions of the sky. Since signs are always equal sized slices, houses should be too. House division should therefore be an Equal system (at least when viewed in 3D).

(2) Houses are inherently tied to the local horizon. That's why the first house is always near the Eastern horizon, in the area just below it. Combined with point #1, that suggests the best model for houses is 12 equal sized wedges placed over the local horizon. For example, it's important that a planet above the horizon will always be in houses 7-12, and a planet below the horizon will always be in houses 1-6.

The above describes the 3D model of Campanus, which is the only way to make the above conditions true. Campanus also has the "others use it too" reasoning, since it was the preferred system of Dane Rudhyar, the father of modern evolutionary astrology. As astrologer Richard Brown wrote:

"My personal opinion is that Dane Rudhyar did more than any single other modern astrologer to drag astrology out of the cesspool of the Middle Ages fatalism and negativity to allow astrology to grow into the modern age. It was a mammoth and life-long task, which is not yet complete."
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Unread 12-13-2020, 07:48 AM
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

^^^^

Cruiser1,
Thank you for taking the time to explain.

Yet another personal question in thought found to be lacking in substantial reasoning.
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Unread 12-14-2020, 06:42 AM
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Post Re: What house system do you use and why?

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Originally Posted by waybread View Post
thanks for the info on the sun taking its own sweet time to cross a given degree point. With the outer planets, it would take even longer.
Actually, it turns out that the Sun is the slowest body to enter a new sign, because it's so much wider than any planet. Outer planets indeed orbit more slowly, however their visible diameters are much smaller. Here's about how long it takes each planet's disk to enter a new sign or cross any given point in space:
  • Sun: 12 hr
  • Moon: 1 hr
  • Mars: 5 minutes
  • Jupiter: 3 hr
  • Saturn: 4 hr
  • Uranus: 2.5 hr
  • Neptune: 2.5 hr
  • Pluto: 8 minutes
  • Chiron: 1 minute
These numbers were estimated using Astrolog's telescope chart, by watching planets animate past a given zodiac position degree. Outer planets may be slightly faster or slower depending on where Earth is in its orbit in relation to them (so use heliocentric to get a good average figure).
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Re: What house system do you use and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser1 View Post
Actually, it turns out that the Sun is the slowest body to enter a new sign, because it's so much wider than any planet. Outer planets indeed orbit more slowly, however their visible diameters are much smaller. Here's about how long it takes each planet's disk to enter a new sign or cross any given point in space:
The moon and the sun have the same visible diameter, as seen from Earth. But the moon moves much faster. If they moved through the zodiac at the same speed, the moon would take as long as the sun to change signs.

So the sun isn't the widest, it's tied for that honor. It's just the slower of the two.
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